Dr. Goldman has been serving the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine since 1989.
By Kristen Mitchell
Milken Institute School of Public Health Dean Lynn Goldman said one of the best parts of her work with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has been collaborating with people across disciplines that she would never encounter in her day-to-day life.
“They’re not people who necessarily come together in the same room often, and then because it’s a committee for the National Academies, many of them are at the very top of their field,” she said. “You get to hear them talking about a problem, and it’s really fun.”
Dr. Goldman has been working with the National Academies since 1989 and was recently honored with an award for distinguished service by the National Academy of Medicine. She received the Walsh McDermott Medal for her commitment over an extended period.
Dr. Goldman said she is passionate about the National Academies mission and was honored to receive the recognition. Dr. Goldman became a member of the Committee to Evaluate the Hazardous Materials Management Program of the Bureau of Land Management in 1989 and since then has served on numerous committees, forums and boards that seek to address a broad range of topics.
Dr. Goldman currently serves as a member of the NAM Council, the executive committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council. She is also vice chair of the Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine and co-chair of the Standing Committee on Medical and Public Health Research During Large-Scale Emergencies.
The future holds several threats to public health, Dr. Goldman said. The world needs to learn how to curb environmental impacts of fossil fuel use and adjust to a warmer climate. As the global population grows, societies need to figure out how to produce more food and combat health risks like diabetes and obesity.
Despite the challenges, Dr. Goldman said it’s a good time to be in science.
“We’re going to need to be really creative about how we do research as the pace of change in technology and our way of life has accelerated,” she said. “We have already committed to what amounts to a massive experiment on our own planet.”
The work done at academic institutions can catalyze scientific advancements. Dr. Goldman said collaborations are the key to finding solutions to the problems of the future.
“We’re at a point now that pretty much any important work that scientists are doing, they’re not working in isolation in their own little box,” she said. “Today, in many cases, they need collaborators from all over the country or the world.”